Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Long time no see: In which I confess to being a very bad daughter

My brother was in from Jerusalem last week. I hadn’t seen him in so long that I told him I actually recognized his voice better than I recognized his face.

So there we were, me, him, our sister, and my husband, yacking away, and passing around the phone so that we could all talk to our brother in California. We talked about the withdrawal from Gaza ( . . . sigh . . . I’m embarrassed to say that I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce it—hitnatkut, hitnakdut?) and about our kids, and traded tips on how best to edit documents for our respective employers.

Then we got down to “tachlis” (brass tacks, basics). Speaking of “long time no see,” not only hadn’t I seen my brother in several years, I haven’t seen my parents in several years, either. I’ve been promising to go to Israel as soon as the Young Scientist graduates and relieves us of tuition payments. But my brother disabused me of the delusion that I had that much time to wait. He told me that, given the speed at which my father’s memory is deteriorating, he won’t even remember me by then.

I’ve been trying to forget that major detail. Going to Israel hasn’t been an option, financial, and my parents have been living in Israel for so long that it’s been easier for me to try not to think about them.

Which is why this upset me so much.

This is just what I’ve been trying not to think about.

So it’s settled—the Punster and I have decided to use the insurance settlement from our little “incendiary incident” of a few weeks ago ( to help pay for a trip to Israel for all three of us. The Young Scientist being not a Zionist in the least—did I mention that I’m a bad Jewish mother, too?—isn’t terribly enthused about going to what he describes as “a war zone,” but that’s the only way he’ll be able see his grandparents.

Possibly for the last time.

As I was saying, this is just what I’ve been trying not to think about.


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

You're making a wise investment here. And it sounds like it's really important that your son go.

Wed Jul 06, 09:13:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Eliyahu said...

it's so wonderful that you can go...and please don't think you're a bad daughter nor a bad jewish mother; your posts tell a different story. enjoy every moment, and consider taking a camcorder and/or sound recorder of some kind.

Wed Jul 06, 05:43:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Youchers--a camcorder?! We haven't even quite figured out where we're getting the *airfare* money yet! The Young Scientist did some travel research and came up with some rather discouraging numbers. (Suffice it to say that the insurance money certainly won't pay for all three of us.) Any recommendations for cheap flights?

What does one do with cassette tapes, these days? If I make tapes, will I still be able to play them 10 years from now, or will cassette players no longer exist?

On the other hand, I've been thinking of getting a digital camera (which would probably cost considerable less than a camcorder). I'd like to be able to upload photos directly to the computer, so that they don't sit in my camera for a year and a half. And it would be nice to create a scrapbook of photos of my parents, and of whatever places we see on our trip to Israel (Kotel, Vad Vashem, Shrine of the Book, etc.), online and send them to family.

Wed Jul 06, 11:32:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

PT, you're certainly right about it being important for our kid to make this trip. My father hasn't been well enough to travel for years. Sometimes I feel that the Young Scientist and his maternal grandparents are practically strangers. (Aliyah has its drawbacks.) Truth to tell, it's been so many years since they've seen one another that I doubt my father will recognize my son. But at least he'll still remember that he actually *has* an American grandson. And the trip will leave our kid with some good memories of my parents, not to mention Eretz Yisrael.

(Mark, it sure feels weird calling you PT now that my husband and I have schmoozed over felafel with you and your whole crew.)

Thu Jul 07, 12:02:00 AM 2005  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Treppenwitz, I mean David, has an interesting take on this over at his blog. (the name issue)

Thu Jul 07, 12:24:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yeah--as I recollect, he's not crazy about being called "Trep." On the other hand, it could be worse--imagine what they'd nickname *you*! :)

Thu Jul 07, 11:17:00 PM 2005  

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